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Using the Excel Office Web App

Using the Excel Office Web App

Start by making sure you are in your My Documents folder and click the New dropdown link. Select the Microsoft Excel Workbook option, fill in the name of the Excel Workbook, and then click the Create button as shown in Figure 3.

After creating your new Excel Spreadsheet you should see the Excel Web App interface (Figure 4), which includes fewer navigation tabs than the desktop versions of Office 2007 and Office 2010.

To understand what the Excel Web App has, I’ll walk through the limited set of tabs. Clicking on the File tab, you’ll see the following options:

  • Open in Excel: This lets you open the workbook that you’re currently viewing on your locally installed version of Excel.
  • Save As: With this menu item you can save the current workbook under a new name in your SkyDrive account.
  • Download a Snapshot: Downloads a copy of the data in the workbook which includes the values and the formatting.
  • Download a Copy: With this feature you can download the full version of the Excel Workbook to your computer.

The other options on the menu provide explanations and don’t provide any real functionality.

The Home tab, shown previously in Figure 4, of the Excel Web App provides the most familiar and used features compared to the desktop version of Excel. With the Home tab selected you have the standard clipboard features available. You can also adjust the font; however the tab group doesn’t provide the same number of features as the full version of the application. You can also adjust the alignment, both vertical and horizontal, of the contents in the cells using the options in the Alignment group. If you’re familiar with the desktop version of Excel, the Number Format icon in the Number tab group lets you change the format of the value stored in the selected cell in the worksheet. There are many types available including date and times, currency, and fractions. In the Number tab group you can also adjust the number of digits after the decimal point. The Tables tab group only contains two items but provides a great deal of functionality. After selecting some cells with data in your workbook, clicking the Sort & Filter as Table option allows you to convert the selected values to a table. After converting the values to a table, you can sort the data in many ways just like the desktop version. The Cells tab group provides you the ability to simply delete and insert rows and columns. The Data tab group includes the tools necessary to refresh and recalculate your data and also a very primitive find feature. Finally, the Office tab group allows you to open your Excel workbook locally.

The Insert tab only contains two items which allows you to insert either a table or a hyperlink.

The Excel Web App also allows you to use formulas. Figure 5 shows the list of all of the formulas that start with letter “S”. Also notice on the bottom of the window in Figure 5 that the Excel Web App also provides additional worksheets just like the desktop version of Excel.

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